Region: Bierzo, Spain
First Glance: Medium-body, fresh herbs, cherry, plum, lifted acidity
Spain has, like much of the wine-world of late, seen a serious resurgence in interest for its indigenous varieties and traditional wine regions, outside the more well known areas such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero or Priorat. One such area which has attracted the attention of the outside world, is the North-western corner of the country, including regions such as Bierzo and Gallicia, with their rolling green hills, lower temperatures and increased rainfall, making them capable of refreshing reds and whites of tension and verve. One in a wave of modern pioneers in Bierzo is Bordeaux-bred winemaker Grégory Pérez who set up the Mengoba project in 2007, making wines from local star varieties such as Mencia and Godello.
Mencia is the new black, or at least it is one of the most talked about indigenous Spanish varieties of late. It is characterized by its purple fruit and herbal aromas, fresh acidity and often quite tannic structure. Is can be likened to Lorie Valley Cabernet Franc, and can make both full-bodied and ageworthey wines, or as exemplified here in the Brezo Mencia, refreshing and sappy medium weight expressions. The Brezo Mencia includes a splash of Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) and the white Godello, and is fermented without additions in stainless steel, and bottled early to capture all that joyous, mouth-watering Mencía character.